- Los Angeles Unified School District
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling, Nicole Avant, Eva Longoria, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Bryan Lourd Join with Los Angeles Unified to Unveil the Roybal School of School of Film and Television Production (06-21-21)
CONTACT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shannon Haber, 213-393-1289 June 21, 2021
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington,
Mindy Kaling, Nicole Avant, Eva Longoria,
Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner
and Creative Artists Agency’s Bryan Lourd
Join with Los Angeles Unified to Unveil
The Roybal School of Film and Television Production
- Comprehensive Curriculum and Hands-On Experience Will Provide Students from Underserved Communities a Pathway to Employment Within the Industry
LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2021) – In an effort to drive transformational change across the entertainment industry for students from underserved communities, a coalition of leaders spearheaded by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling, Nicole Avant, Eva Longoria, Working Title Films founders Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Co-Chairman Bryan Lourd has joined forces with Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner to found the Roybal School of Film and Television Production, a specialized academy housed within the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center.
Set to launch in Fall 2022 as a magnet school, the Roybal School of Film and Television Production will provide Los Angeles Unified teachers with access to renowned storytellers, along with industry professionals and experts, and support students with a robust academic education and practical training, establishing a clear pathway to good-paying jobs.
The inaugural program, to be overseen by Principal Blanca Cruz, will feature specifically designed curriculum developed to meet the standards prescribed by the state of California and the University of California system. In addition, students will receive real-world experience through a dedicated internship initiative. The Roybal School of Film and Television Production will start with ninth- and 10th-grade students and include Grades 11 and 12 over the next two years, with potential opportunity to expand the pilot program to more schools throughout the Los Angeles area.
“This effort will help open the doors of opportunity for a diverse group of students from underserved communities,” Superintendent Beutner said. “This groundbreaking program will help prepare students for good-paying jobs in the film and television industry by integrating practical industry experience and internships for students into the curriculum. Physics is involved in the choice of a lens by a cinematographer, math is part of the foundation for a musical score in a film, critical thinking skills are needed to design a set, screenwriters needs a foundation in literacy, and a make-up artist needs to know the chemistry of the different materials they might use – all of this will be tied into the curriculum at the school. We are excited to have the support of these extraordinary industry leaders to create opportunity for children in the Los Angeles area.”
The founding members will serve on the Roybal School of Film and Television Production Advisory Board, lending their expertise and support to build a more inclusive pipeline of career-ready talent for the film and television industry.
“Our aim is to better reflect the diversity of our country. That means starting early. It means creating high school programs that teach young people about cameras, and editing and visual effects and sound and all the career opportunities that this industry has to offer. It means internships that lead to well-paying careers. It means understanding that we’re all in this together,” Clooney said.
“Everyone involved with this effort understands the need to create points of access: access to resources, information, skills, and mentorship,” Avant said. “It is our hope that every guild and company across the entertainment industry landscape joins our efforts to build a bridge to opportunity.”
“The combination of education and hands-on training opens up life-changing opportunities,” Lourd said. “We invite every interested and committed person and company in our industry to join this effort. We have the collective power to accelerate the academic and professional trajectories of so many students and bring about positive change.”
“This partnership will support our students and enable them to thrive,” Local District Central Superintendent Frances Baez said.
“We are excited and grateful for this amazing partnership that will inspire and invest in our talented students,” Board Member Mónica García said. “This is exactly the love, courage and leadership we need.”
“We are really excited about this remarkable opportunity for collaboration and learning,” Roybal Principal Blanca Cruz said. “Not only will it provide our students much needed resources to support their hands-on learning experiences that are relevant in the entertainment industry, but it will also offer them the guidance and expertise needed to help them realize their inherent potential.”
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